Rated for profanity. Nightmare.
WARNING: In this chapter the narrations change from one character to another more than once so be aware when you see the ~~~ signal.
Charlie’s mother picked her up around nine that evening. Devon stayed the whole time with her, even though he had blamed Mikey for Charlie’s accident, he felt terribly guilty. It was like the pain in her eyes and the bruises on her face were marks that he made, so once Dev got home from the hospital later that night he did what he always did when he was upset: he boxed.
Dev flicked on the lights as he walked down the creaky wooden stairs of his basement that had been chipped and faded from the many years of abuse. Dev always hated his basemen, he had the stereotypical basement of a serial killer. The small basement had cold cement floors and cinderblock walls that were covered in shelves that had been covered to the absolute maximum with tools and random shit Dev and his older brother used to play with when he was younger. It smelled of mothballs and stale food that was forgotten and eventually eaten by mice. Dev walked the rest of the way down the stairs and across the floor. The cement was cold under his bare feet as he walked over to the faded scarlet punching bag that hung like a dead body in the corner of the damp, dark basement. Dev’s older brother, Mat, had passed down the bag to him, it was like a legendary item that no one dare to throw out even though bits of pieces had started to fall out of the seams.
He stared at the thing; it was like the damn thing was mocking him; tearing him apart and throwing away the useless parts, leaving him naked and stripped of his dignity. Without putting on protective gloves, Dev swung hitting the heavy bag hard. Pain erupted from his knuckles up to his wrist; he clenched his jaw down hard and willed himself through the pain knowing that his girlfriend, the one he loved most, received worse on a daily basis. Dev swung his other hand, beginning to work up a rhythm of combinations and hit the bag hard, over and over again. He swung and swung; letting his emotions get the better of him and fuel his hits.
Mikey: the damned kid who was toying with Charlie’s head. Dev could see it clearly, the way she smiled at him and always talked about her ‘best friend.’ Dev wasn’t blind, nor was he stupid. Mikey liked her too; it was only a matter of time before Mikey made his kill shot. Dev hit the bag harder then before at the pure anger that came from the thought of Mikey kissing Charlie. Dev loved her and Charlie was his girlfriend, not some play doll of Mikey’s. He had to put a stop to it. Dev lifted his leg and hit the side of the bag with his shin as plans began to formulate in his mind. Soon enough he had plenty of ideas, so many that he could publish a book: How To Kill Your Girlfriends Best Friend.
Charlie stood still in the main entrance of her house as her father screamed at her. Her body was aching and her muscles were sore from use. Charlie could barely stand without shaking, her mother had a firm grip on her elbow and it was the only will power that kept Charlie upright has her father tore down the emotional walls she tried so hard to keep up when he went on his angry rampages. Charlie let her hang down so her chin was resting on her chest, her body hurt like she was hit a freight train- which wasn’t to far off apparently. She wished she could be back in the hospital where pain medication came at one simple request.
“How are we going to pay for this?” Charlie’s father boomed in her face. Charlie lifted her head, meeting her father’s cruel stare; his eyes lit in fury. She could only pretend she was fearless when she was in such a state of disadvantage when her body hurt more than all of the beatings put together. Insecurity shot through her system, she was too weak to fend for Chris if her father went berserk.
Her father began pacing, his hands tucked into tight fists at his side. Chris appeared in the shadows of the kitchen doorway, wearing his Superman outfit and clutching his stuffed dinosaur. Her father was to enraged to notice, but she felt her mothers fingers tighten around her elbow as she too noticed Chris’s presence. Charlie caught her brothers eye, he stared at her the fear easily written in his gaze, Charlie shook her head gently at him, his bottom lip quivered before he nodded jerkily and ran away. The sound of his small feet pounding on the floor resounded in the dull silence that had fallen upon them. Charlie slowly closed her eyes and thanked God; Chris was safe.
“George, I’ll work later in the office. We’ll make do somehow,” Charlie’s mother paused letting her father settle down, “Right now Charlie needs rest, we don’t need to in the hospital again for further damage.”
The words rung in Charlie’s ears: further damage. She was just a toy for them. She could be tossed around, scratched, beaten, but she could always be fixed. After being a victim of an abuser, she knew that she could never mentally recuperate what she has had to put up with ever since she was born. Nor could her mother or her brother; they were all victims.
Charlie’s father was fuming, his strides becoming quicker and his heels hitting the wood floors harder with each step, “Fine,” He breathed, “But let her take the stairs by her damn self.”
Charlie bit down on her tongue, keeping in the desperate cry that wanted to escape. She knew her father was a fan of punishment, but she had barely enough strength to stand with her mothers help, she didn’t know how she was going to make it up a flight of stairs. Her mother squeezed her elbow, as to offer up some sort of encouragement and tugged her in the direction of the stairs. Charlie took slow steps, her sore muscles screamed protest her. Once she was close enough to the base of the stairs she reached out and grabbed the railing, putting her weight onto it. The spray-painted white sad piece of an excuse railing creaked under the pressure as Charlie’s mother let go of her daughter. Charlie’s knee’s began to wobble as she stood on her own, carefully she brought her leg up onto the next stair. Her body stung, like her muscles had been frozen into one position and refused to thaw. She took the next stair and bit down onto her bottom lip, closing her eyes and forcing herself to keep going. She took another, and the next after that, every step she took made her body sear in pain and her bones feel like they were about to break. She gritted her teeth and bit back the screams as they pushed up her throat, she wouldn’t give her father the satisfaction of knowing she was in pain. Silent tears dripped gently down her face and onto the ground with out a sound. Her body hurt, her heart hurt, and she just wanted to reach that breaking point where she could ride out the pain and know there was a light at the end of the tunnel. She wanted to lay down, even on the hard stairs, and fall into a sleep that she couldn’t wake from even if God tried to smack her back to reality.
Mikey lay on his back on the unmade bed his mother scolded him for. He held two things in his hands; the house phone and Scout’s telephone number. He had meant to call her, he even wanted too, but something inside him had kept him from doing it. Something held him back from hearing her pretty voice that made him get a weird feeling in his stomach.
He lifted the paper to his face, reading her number and memorizing the way her numbers curled in nice cursive, he sighed and crumpled the paper in his sweaty palm and covered his eyes with his forearm. He groaned loudly, sitting up and and moving off the bed. He stood and began pacing around his room, he realized he liked Scout, but he loved Charlie. Mikey sighed, finally pulling the paper out of his hand and typing the number into the phone. He brought the phone to his ear as he waited. After a few rings he got his answer.
Dev was panting as walked over to the cement wall, pulling off his sweaty shirt with his now bloodied hands. He reached the wall and leaned his back against it, letting the coolness seep into his heated skin. He groaned in exhaustion and slowly slid to the ground tired from the workout. He swallowed thickly using his shirt to wipe the sweat from his face; Dev winced as the salty sweat fell into his open cuts.
“Devon?” His mother called out from upstairs.
Dev put the shirt over his bloody knuckles and cleared his throat before shouting back up to her, “Yeah, ma, I’m down here.”
Dev jumped as the basement door flew open and his mother’s slipper-covered feet appeared in the doorway, “Devon what are you doing down here?” She asked as she made her way down the stairs, “Your father hasn’t cleaned a thing in ages…” She trailed off as she reached the bottom step and scowled at the trash and dust that littered the small basement. Dev studied his mother; she was a lean woman, had long legs and a strong torso, something both him and his brother inherited. She was forming wrinkles on her neck and mouth, gray hairs beginning to pop up around the hairline. She bent over and snatched a half-empty beer can Dev remembered knocking over in his childhood. Dev loved his mom, she always knew what was going on and when to be a comforting caretaker or to let him be; she was smart and he respected that.
“I was working out,” Dev responded, nodding his head towards the punching bag.
His mother shook her head, a strand of her brown hair falling out from behind her ear. As she collected more garbage in her arms her soft pink blouse collected together and showed off a strip of her smooth stomach.
“Move the damn thing upstairs, sweetie, this is just gross,” She said as she picked up the hardened crust of a sandwich.
“Okay, ma,” He said. Dev didn’t move, it wasn’t that he was sore and didn’t want too (although that was true) he just didn’t want his mom to see his hands; she would surely freak out and never let him in the basement alone again.
“Well come on,” She said turning and going back up the stairs with her arms full of old waste.
Dev sat still, “I’ll be up in a second,” He responded.
He waited for his mother to leave the basement and for the sound of her heels striking the tile floor upstairs to fade away before he finally got up and began walking towards the stairs. Dev peaked around the corner of the door like a childhood spy before sliding out of the basement and quickly walking towards his room.
“Nice hands,” Dev groaned internally turning around to see his older brother, Mat, standing behind him. They stood staring at each other in the dim hallway light, the walls around them covered in pictures of years past. Mat took a large bite out of his sandwich and chewed it obnoxiously loud.
“I thought you were at-“
“School? Yeah you would think that. I decided to start commuting, I mean free food,” Mat said taking another hunk out of the sandwich.
“Right, well… I’ll just be-“
“Going? Don’t think so, if you don’t put something on those the right way you’ll be bleeding for the next month,” Mat said a bit of lettuce falling out of his mouth as he did so.
“So you want to help me?” Dev asked skeptically with a roll of his eyes.
Mat threw the last part of his sandwich in his mouth, “Stop begging little brother, you sound like a queer,” He said as he walked over to the bathroom and pushed it open.
Dev followed him in, kicking the door shut to avoid using is hands.
Mat turned on the fosset, “Put ‘em under, bitch,” He instructed.
Dev did what he was told, wincing as the water stung the cuts around his knuckles and the tops of his fingers. Mat grabbed the bar of soap sitting on the small ledge in the sink and ran it aggressively across the cuts.
“Ow, you shit head that hurts!” Dev shouted, pulling his hands roughly out of his brothers grip.
Mat laughed, “You don’t think I know that? God, Dev I swear you’ve just got dumber since I left for college.” Dev scowled at his brother and put his hands under the stream of city water again.
“So how’s that girlfriend of yours?” Mat asked nonchalantly. Dev looked up at him, Mat seemed to have thought it was enough of rinsing because he flicked the water of and grabbed a towel.
“She’s been better, ow…” He groaned as Mat dried his hands with the towel with as much sympathy as he had before.
“And you’re friends at school?” Mat questioned, keeping his full and undivided attention on Dev’s hands.
“They’re fine. Why are you so curious?” Dev asked. His brother shrugged as he stood up and opened the medicine cabinet taking out a roll of gauze and the first aid box.
“I don’t know, you realize you rant when you box right?” Mat asked as he took Dev’s hand and wrapped the gauze around the cuts that littered his knuckles.
Dev’s eyes widened, “Oh, uh, no I didn’t know that…”
Mat laughed, “Must be genetic, I do it too. So who’s this Michael kid you want to kill?”
Dev clenched his jaw, “He’s no one.”
Mat placed a piece of medical tape on the gauze to keep it in place, “He is no one, or he’s about to be no one?”
Dev laughed, “Both.”
“Hello, you’ve reach The Rejection Hotline, if you’ve been given this number-“
Mikey threw the phone away from him and fell back onto his bed, wincing as he heard it crash against the opposite wall and fall with a bang to the floor. He had to have typed the number in right, there was no faking the feelings they shared, the way they kissed, Mikey groaned loudly, how classy kiss and reject. What a great feeling it was when he had been handed a chance to get over Charlie and it back handed him right in the face. Mikey felt hurt, he felt used and dirty, like no one cared for him. He closed his eyes tights before snapping them open quickly, he blinked a couple times hoping that maybe he had been imagining the whole thing, but he wasn’t. He turned his head to glance at his clock for the time. It was 10:20 already? He sat up and let out a long sigh, he had school tomorrow. Mikey stood and lazily began stripping out of his clothes. Once he was just in his boxers he climbed back into his bed and pulled the blankets up to his chin, hoping that when he dreamed it wouldn’t be a damn nightmare.
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For all of those who don’t know the term COMMUTING means, it’s a term for college students. It’s when you attend a college or university, but instead of living on campus you live in your house with your parents or guardian or if you bought your own house then yeah you get the point haha :P